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Friday, October 15, 2010

These Days


What are days for?
Days are where we live.
They come, they wake us
Time and time over.
They are to be happy in:
Where can we live but days?

Ah, solving that question
Brings the priest and the doctor
In their long coats
Running over the fields.

3 August 1953

From The Whitsun Weddings
© The Estate of Philip Larkin

I love that poem, I've probably posted it here before. I wonder if everyone asked themselves at the end of every day what they lived for that day if they would be honest with themselves & if they would be happy with their answer. As fast as time goes, it's easy to go through a day trying to get to the next day, like that John Lennon song goes, "life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." I don't know what's worse, living for the wrong thing, or having nothing to live for at all. I heard a story on This American Life recently about a teenage kid who accidentally hit a girl riding a bicycle with his car. It wasn't his fault, but he had to go through life with the guilt of killing someone. The girls parents told the kid that whatever he did in life, he'd have to do it twice as good because we was living for two people now. What a responsibility, & what a weight. Jesus died on the cross for our sins, maybe we should ask ourselves what we're living for.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Ready to Start-Arcade Fire, the Suburbs

32-20 Blues-Robert Johnson

It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)-Bob Dylan

These Days-Nico

Need a Dollar-Aloe Blacc

Happy Friday, friends...


Saturday, October 09, 2010

When I Get Home

I was thinking alot about Oma today, ten years after she died. I remember my mother calling to give me the news. The day of her funeral was a perfect fall day, mid sixties, sunny with the mums in full bloom. I remember Oma making lunch for us when my dad would take me to work on the farm. No one sits down for lunch like that anymore. The day of her funeral was a perfect day to listen to my old man talk about his mother more eloquently than anybody else could. I think we sang Rock of Ages that day, what a great song, & I remember how Oma sang. No one sang like her, she had a very high pitched voice when she sang. She didn't have a conventionally great singing voice, but she sang with a feeling that conveyed love & conviction, & a connection with the past. I remember thinking that day that the song didn't sound the same without her singing next to us. I remember driving by the farm after the funeral, how the front porch always saw Oma standing & waving until your car was out of sight, like she wanted to make sure she told you that she loved you & to tell you that she hopes you make it home safely & to remind you to come back again soon. That reminded me of my old man standing in the driveway waving until your car was out of sight. Christie always tells me how much she loves that my old man does that. The day of the funeral was a perfect day to plant a tree, life's crazy circle spinning around & around. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, a life, a birth & all sorts of wonderful silly little things in between like new Christmas ornaments & Aunt Rose's birthday on Thanksgiving, making dogs sing, euchre tournaments, going to the American legion, "better than a kick in the pants" & "you're getting a little big for your britches".

A lot has changed since then. I can't help but think how much she would have loved Quinn, Ella, Avery, Sophia, Kaliegh, Lucy, Christie & Lillian.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

When I Get Home-Elizabeth Cotten

Box of Rain-the Grateful Dead

Go to Sleep, The Avett Brothers

Airline to Heaven-Billy Bragg & Wilco

When the Roses Bloom Again-Laura Cantrell

Happy Saturday, friends.

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Grand Haven, Michigan
the sun shines on a dog's ass every now & then...